Vitamin B reduces risk of depression in elderly

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6% of individuals ages sixty-five and older are deficient in vitamin B-12 and 20% experience marginal depletion. It makes sense then that older people should include vitamin B in their supplement regiment. According to a study published in the August issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, boosting intake of two B vitamins may actually help to stave off depression in older people as well. The study followed 3,000 individuals ages 65 and over and found that increasing levels of vitamin B-6 and B-12 was associated with a slight reduction in risk for depression (P=0.01 and P=0.05, respectively) during following-up extending to 12 years. “In the assessment and treatment of depressive symptoms in older adults, clinicians and other healthcare professionals should be mindful of the patient’s nutritional status in general, and whether there are vitamin insufficiencies in these nutrients before treatment,” Kimberly A. Skarupski, MD, of Rush University in Chicago, and colleagues, wrote. Click here to read an article from Pharmacy News that discusses this study more.

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